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Response to Georgia Supreme Court ruling
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

A recent State Supreme Court Case, Elliot v. State, ruled that under the Georgia Constitution it is a person’s right against self-incrimination to refuse a breathalyzer test in criminal cases, which prevents prosecutors from bringing up a refusal to take a breathalyzer in trial.

House Bill 471 updates the script that an arresting officer must read when arresting a person suspected of DUI, hunting under the influence or operating watercraft under the influence. When arresting a person suspected of DUI, the arresting officer must state that the privilege to drive on Georgia’s highways is stated upon the person’s submission to chemical tests of blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substances and notes that the driver’s refusal to submit to a blood or urine test may be offered into evidence against the driver at trial. If they are found guilty of driving under the influence after refusing to submit to a state administered chemical test, their license will be suspended for a minimum of one year.

Unamended House bills passed by the Senate now await the governor’s signature

HB 168: Extends the sunset by five years for tax exemptions from sales and use taxes regarding the sales or use of tangible personal property to nonprofit health centers like FQHC’s.

HB 185: Includes banks and credit unions chartered by states other than Georgia, national banks, federal credit unions, and federal savings and loan association under the definition of “financial institution” if they have federal deposit insurance. Allows the Department of Banking and Finance to obtain more background information of incorporators, directors, or proposed officers of the trust company.

HB 192: Provides definitions for “Appraisal Management Company”. Updates registration requirements for appraisers and gives the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board the authority to establish registration requirements.


HB 35: Provides tax exemptions from sales and use tax for poultry diagnostic and disease monitoring services.

HB 212: Allows for the retailers and retail brokers of manufactured or mobile homes or a residential industrialized buildings to be exempt from the definition of “mortgage broker”. Also exempts retailers and retail brokers who limit their residential mortgage loan activity to compiling and transmitting residential mortgage loan applications to licensed mortgage lenders or communicating with applicants to complete the residential mortgage loan application.

HB 405: Allows for the affiliate of a manufacturer who can hold the goods of the manufacturer to be exempt from ad valorem taxes on the inventory of goods by the governing authority of a county or municipality.

HB 507: Allows the income approach to be used by tax assessors to determine the fair market value of income-producing property to be utilized if the data is available.

HB 374: Allows trained medication aides to administer liquid morphine to hospice patients in an assisted living home. The initial dose of morphine must be administered by a licensed hospice health care professional. The trained medication aide is limited to administer no more than 50 milliliters of morphine per hospice patient.

Natural resources

HB 501: Authorizes the Board of Natural Resources to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to develop and cultivate the oyster farming industry. Changes the permitting requirements to require fisherman to obtain a commercial fishing license with a shellfish endorsement. Allows for the leasing of intertidal water bottoms for a maximum of ten years at a time for a cost no less than $15 an acre.

HB 223: Removes the requirement to notify the Environmental Protection Division about the application of pesticides when conducted in a manner consistent with labeling and about air emission from animal waste at a farm, including decomposing animal waste.

Law enforcement

HB 226: Extends the sunset of the 1.5% traffic citation surcharge that is used to help fund the Georgia Driver’s Education Commission which funds scholarships for driver training.

HB 325: Requires the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council to retain the investigation records of all law enforcement officers investigated by the Council for a period of 30 years.

HB 387: Allows for nonprofit fire departments to file liens on properties for fire services requested by property owners.

HB 197: Establishes the Georgia Data Analytics Center within the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and provides controls for the information that is stored and transmitted.

HB 196: Requires public retirement system trustees to complete a minimum of eight hours of education within one year or appointment or election as a trustee.